Opening 14 Nov 2013
Henry Whipple overseas the family farm in Decatur, Iowa, in the third generation. Following a trend of “get big or get out,” he has acquired (often by unfriendly, even illegal, takeovers) 3700 acres of good farming land, as well as Liberty Seed Company. All this to secure the future of his eldest son Grant, a shining football star. However, Grant leaves the farm to climb mountains in South America. The second son, Dean, has suffered from having to live in Grant’s shadow all his life. Henry now grooms Dean to be his successor, although Dean is more interested in stock car racing. A tragedy causes him to embrace his father’s wishes in the end.
Filmed in DeKalb, Illinois, just a few miles from my home town in Missouri, I recognized the cornfields, the small-town streets, the people, even the stock car races, annual events in my childhood. Even if you have no connection to America’s Middle West, you can still appreciate the Shakespearean story in its dramatic conflict between two families, as well as between father and son, played by Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron respectively. (Becky Tan)